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Brandy Schillace
Brandy Schillace
Author, historian, editor for BMJ Medical Humanities, science journalist
Science
History
Mystery
LGBT
Book a 1:1 with Brandy
Hi!

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Talk soon,
Sam

Hi there.

On my mind

Life is more interesting at the intersections, the places where ideas meet, overlap, and collide. My rural community skirted the poverty line, a place of failed industry and orange rivers, poor health, and poorer access to healthcare. As a result, I spent my childhood reading a lot about disease and going to a lot of funerals. I ended up with a Ph.D. and a career in science history, which is probably a likely thing to happen when you spend your early years in a cemetery.

I’ve worked in an English Department, a History Department, and for a Medical Anthropology journal. I spent five years as a research associate in a medical museum among amputation saws, surgery kits, and smallpox vaccines—and now, in addition to being an author, I’m Editor-in-Chief for BMJ’s Medical Humanities Journal. I tend to fall outside the borders and binaries on every side.

I am a writer of fiction and nonfiction, a historian with a penchant for the gothic, and in all my projects I support diversity and social justice. As a nonbinary, autistic author, I know how important representation is. In my mystery fiction, the protagonist is neurodivergent, but that is neither a limitation nor the most interesting thing about her--it's simply a part of life to navigate. (With the additional problem of a vanishing portrait and a dead body in her living room). My nonfiction (2025) THE INTERMEDIARIES tells the story of the Institute for Sexual Science, both center of the homosexual and trans community and base of operations for the first LGBTQ rights movement in 1918. Sexual and gender nonconformists, what Hirschfeld called the intermediaries, had a right to live, a right to thrive. They also had a right to joy. Science would lead the way, but this history unfolds as an interwar thriller—patients and physicians risking their lives to be seen and heard even as Hitler began his rise to power. Our present cause for trans rights has its foundation here, in history. Nothing like the Institute had ever existed before it opened its doors—and despite a hundred years of progress, there has been nothing like it since.

I always liked the line by Walt Whitman: I contain multitudes. I do history the way most people climb mountains–I get my hands dirty–I end up in catacombs, archives, basements. As you can imagine, this sort of thing doesn’t fit in a box very well. Each of us are completely unique sets of data and DNA, blood and bones, bits and pieces of ancient stardust (and some microplastics). We don’t just have fingerprints. We are fingerprints — completely unique phenomenon in the universe, never before and never to be again.

Why I'm excited to talk with readers

I'm weird. Peculiar, let's say. I spent most of my life looking for a found family of people who shared my interests and my fascination for history and science, mystery, forensics, and justice. Now, I'm a writer of those books, and I want to connect with readers--especially those who might be a little peculiar, too. 

I grew up in an underground house, next to a graveyard, in abandoned coal lands… with a pet raccoon. 

Let's Chat!

Brandy

Let's talk! Open to...👇
Freewheeling conversations
Questions about my writing
Writing in general
Getting to know you
Neurodivergent readers and writers
Book a 1:1 with BrandyBook a 1:1 with Brandy
Where else you can find me
Personal website
Substack
My latest
My Substack
 by 
Brandy Schillace
Where I've written

The Framed Women of Ardemore House

A sharp, savvy mystery about an autistic editor who inherits a crumbling English estate, only to find herself at the center of a murder investigation when a family portrait vanishes and a dead body turns up.

“Twisty, engaging, and thoroughly unexpected, The Framed Women of Ardemore House is a must-read. Featuring a unique cast of characters and a village full of dirty little secrets, this book delivers a fresh take on the English cozy.”

— DEANNA RAYBOURN, NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF KILLERS OF A CERTAIN AGE

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Mr. Humble & Dr. Butcher

A Monkey's Head, the Pope's Neuroscientist, and the Quest to Transplant the Soul

It’s not every day someone hands you a research notebook covered in monkey’s blood. But so begins my foray into the strangest scientific experiments of the modern era. MR. HUMBLE AND DR. BUTCHER follows the unprecedented work and life of Dr. Robert White from his first surgery (an operation on a frog at the age of 15) to his final bid to perform a human head transplant before his death in 2010.

“A true-life story even more dark and twisted than the X-Files case it inspired. Brandy Schillace captures the brilliant, disturbing, and fascinating character of Dr. Robert White, determined head transplanter. In the process, she not only exposes scenes of medical experimentation straight out of a horror film but takes us on a socio-political journey through the 20th century, raising questions along the way about life, death, and the nature of the soul itself. Remarkable.”


FRANK SPOTNITZ, EMMY AWARD-WINNING WRITER & PRODUCER OF THE X-FILES

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